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London Co-Investment Fund dips into £5m purse for debut tech investment on Crowdcube

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Originally launched in June 2014, the LCIF was forged by Funding London and Capital Enterprise to back new startups and help them achieve growth. The £25m funding pot was supplied by the Boris Johnson-chaired London Enterprise Panel’s Growing Places Fund.

At the time of the launch, Johnson said: “London’s tech sector is flourishing and the city is a hotbed of talented young and ambitious people buzzing with exciting ideas who are setting up new companies in their droves. This new fund will ensure the tech-giants of the future can get the support they need to bring their ideas to reality and deliver jobs and growth for the capital.”

Crowdcube joined the campaign in December as the exclusive alternative finance partner, which would see £5m from the overall fund invested via the crowdfunding platform.

gamesGRABR, which allows gamers to play, share, discover and buy games, is the first tech firm to secure LCIF investment from the £5m Crowdcube allocation. The LCIF contributed £100,000, while the crowd also played its part to help the business break its original target of £250,000 by more than 80 per cent. 

“We are so proud of this latest round of funding and the attention gamesGRABR has attracted. Our unique approach of creating a community ‘by gamers for gamers’ who want to be part of our growth along with key investors has been incredible,” said Tony Pearce, CEO of gamesGRABR.

“With this new funding round we can begin to scale up our global PR and marketing efforts plus add to our successful partnerships with vloggers on YouTube. Our vision is to be the biggest social network for gamers, the place to find everything you love about gaming and this funding will set us well on the way.”

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It’s not the first time gamesGRABR has looked to the crowd – the company raised over £175,000 on Crowdcube a year ago, beating its £150,000 target.

Luke Lang, co-founder, Crowdcube, said: “We were honoured to be selected as the only crowdfunding partner for the London Co-investment Fund and proud that the first investment via the Crowdcube platform has raised well over its original target,”

“It’s testament to the success of gamesGRABR that the LCIF chose it as an investment opportunity and we’re delighted that gamesGRABR chose once again to raise money via Crowdcube. With £5m of co-investment allocated to Crowdcube, we are keen to help more of London’s finest technology start-ups benefit from LCIF over the next 12 months.”

The crowdfunding firm is predicting its best year to date in 2015 and expects to break records it helped 36 businesses raise £17.5m in Q1. 

JustPark was among the companies to achieve success on the platform, raising a record-breaking £3.7m to become the largest technology equity crowdfunding round in UK history – quite the achievement, considering founder Anthony Eskinazi originally had doubts.

Additionally, 1,014 jobs are expected to be created in the next three years as a result of Crowdcube investments, while five businesses topped the £1m funding mark.

“We’ve had a very busy and very successful first quarter, with over 15,000 individual investments made from our investors,” Lang added. “As well as a record amount invested through the site, we’ve attracted more than 31,000 new investors to our investor community, which now stands at over 158,000 people.

“We’re extremely optimistic that 2015 will be our best year yet, as we see crowdfunding become an increasingly popular options for investors and businesses alike.”

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